Alexander Wang Substantiates His Claim to the Streetwear Throne for SS17

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With his #WangSquad assembled, Snapchat turned over to models like Hanne Gaby Odiele, and Instagram scattered with salacious clues like an X’ed-out Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), Alexander Wang primed the pump for a very special Spring/Summer 2017 presentation.

Wang has long been a favorite of off-duty models and cool girls around the globe, who don his beanie caps, chain-strapped bags, and utilitarian streetwear by the gaggle. In recent seasons, he has been riding a new wave in fashion, one fit for a selfie generation that wears logos like IRL hashtags. Because of this, he has found himself numbered among brands like Vetements and Moschino, a fact that became concrete last season with a presentation built around re-appropriated pop culture memes. For Spring/Summer 2017, Wang aimed to substantiate his claim to the streetwear throne by unleashing a sneak peek at his forthcoming collaboration with Adidas, which debuted at the end of the show.

 

Photo: Courtesy of Alexander Wang

Wang aimed to substantiate his claim to the streetwear throne by unleashing a sneak peek at his forthcoming collaboration with Adidas.

What came first, however, was a collection that perfectly captured Wang’s many minds. There is the Wang who loves putting lithe models in sensual lingerie (as was the case with his final collection for Balenciaga), the Wang who melds the surf board with the boardroom in signature high/low mixes of re-worked pinstripe suiting and surf shorts, and the Wang who obsesses over the languid spirit of streetwear. All of these elements came out to play on his Spring/Summer 2017 runway, underpinned by 1990s-era Los Angeles skate and surf subculture styling.

Models swiftly loped down the runway to Princess Nokia’s irreverent tune ‘Tomboy’ so quickly that it was almost impossible to catch all of the looks in detail. Instead, the audience was left with impressions – impressions of gamine girls dashing off to the skate park in trendy lace-trimmed board shorts, wrap-around bikini tops, and cropped neon all-weather jackets. Blink and you might have missed a shredded denim ‘Canadian tuxedo’, a perfectly draped duster jacket, and a series of featherweight fabrics decorated with ticking stripes and transformed into cropped tanks and mini skirts. For the pre-finale, Wang showed a few evening slip dresses that were simple but confident, each trimmed with iridescent sequins.

As the last glittering frock whipped past the audience, the lights went down and a grainy “found footage”-style video began playing. Images of the aforementioned NDA were paired with shots around New York City and footage of what could easily be construed as commentary on intellectual property theft. The big reveal came when the Adidas logo floated onto the screen and then was flipped upside down, another irreverent moment in a series of so many. From there, an army of models outfitted in track suits flooded the runway, each one bearing the upside-down Adidas logo. Wang is literally and figuratively turning this collaboration on its head, and we have a feeling that the kids are going to eat it up.

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